For the ultimate comfort food experience, you need to try this Over the Top Smoked Lasagna. It features ground beef, Italian sausage, a blend of Italian cheeses, and a rich smoky sauce. Perfect for cool nights or your weekly pasta cravings!
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Why you will love this Smoked Lasagna Recipe
Large Servings- This homemade lasagna makes 1 9x13 dish which is perfect to feed the entire family for dinner or is great if you are having guests over.
Simple to prepare- Using no boil lasagna noodles helps make this lasagna come together with less steps.
Over the Top- using the "over the top" method to smoke the meat, really boosts the smoke flavor and gives a fun spin on a classic dish. Especially for pellet grill enthusiast.
What is Smoked Lasagna
Over the Top Smoked Lasagna is a fun twist on a classic Italian dish, where the entire dish start to finish is prepared in the smoker. It starts with the meats smoking over the sauce ingredients before it is crumbled and added to the meat sauce allowing for a rich and smoky flavor. Then we assemble the lasagna with the smoked meat sauce, ricotta, and a blend of shredded Italian cheeses.
What you need to make Lasagna on the Pellet grill
- Wood Pellets- we used a signature blend but Hickory or Kingsford even sells a Garlic, Onion, Paprika blend that would taste great.
- Dutch Oven (or large pot)- I used a large Dutch oven to make the sauce and catch the drippings from the meat. Any large pot or even an aluminum pan would work just fine.
- Aluminum Pan (or baking dish)- I used a deep dish pizza pan to make this smoked lasagna but any 9x13 baking dish or aluminum pan can be used.
- Foil- I let the lasagna cook for a few without the foil then added foil to finish it off without over browning the cheese or making the lasagna noodles crispy on the edges.
Key Ingredients for Smoked Lasagna
- Ground Italian Sausage- Italian sausage in lasagna takes the entire dish to a whole new level by adding a slightly spiced aspect that compliments all of the other ingredients in the dish. Plus double the meat!
- Ground beef- Mild in taste, ground beef contributes both a savory and meaty component in this classic comfort food.
- Tomato & Basil Sauce- Tomato and Basil flavored sauce provides the tomato base of the lasagna. This flavor sauce is a little sweeter than traditional marinara sauce. It compliments the spices in the Italian sausage very well.
- Green Bell Pepper- These bell peppers are one of my favorites to cook with because they add a bit of crunch along with a little sweetness and nutritional value.
- Diced Onions- Adding onions helps create a little sweet and pungent flavor, which can enhance the overall taste of the dish. Along with added nutrients.
- Fresh tomato- I love adding in fresh tomatoes for a fresh, juicy, and slightly acidic taste. Plus it helps the sauce taste more homemade.
- Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles- These noodles are ready to go into the casserole without cooking first. The noodles create the structure of the entire lasagna and helps provide a slightly chewy base.
- Ricotta Cheese- This soft Italian cheese adds a creamy, sweet, and mildly tangy taste which creates a rich and smooth texture in the layers.
- Shredded Italian Blend Cheese: This blend of cheese melts perfectly and adds a rich, creamy, and a little salty flavor to the dish.
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese: This classic Italian cheese adds a little nutty, salty, and just a hint of sharp taste to the lasagna.
- Egg- The egg helps bind the ricotta cheese mixture, ensuring it holds together and helps for easier cutting and serving as well.
- Fresh Basil- Cooking with fresh basil helps add an aromatic, a little sweetness, and a slightly peppery flavor to the overall dish.
- BBQ Rub- Adding just a touch of this bright red seasoning helps enhance the flavor of the dish with a combination of spices, adding both a smoky and savory touch.
- Water: Water is needed in order to help cook the noodles properly. It provides the necessary moisture during the cooking process.
- Use a serrated knife to chop up your tomato.
- To make serving easier and to actually get a picture perfect "piece" of lasagna wait about 15 minutes before cutting into the lasagna. Don't worry- it will stay hot.
How to make this Over the Top Smoked Lasagna
First get your smoker rolling 225 degrees F. As it is preheating gather your ingredients and start making lasagna!
For the sauce
First prep all of your vegetables and herbs. I used fresh basil and garlic but if you need to substitute with garlic powder or dried basil- go for it. You could even use smoked garlic in this recipe.
In a large Dutch oven (or similar) add the sauce, green pepper, onion, tomato, basil, garlic, and BBQ Rub and stir until combined.
For the Over the Top beef and sausage
Next place the pot on the lower grate of the smoker and add the Italian sausage and ground beef logs directly on the grate above the pot of sauce. Close the lid and let smoke for about 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the meats are at 160 degrees F.
Pull everything off of the smoker and raise the temperature to 300 degrees F.
Once the meat has cooled slightly use your hands to pull the meat into pieces and add into the sauce. Next grab out a medium sized bowl and add in the ricotta cheese and egg. Mix until combined.
In your baking dish add a generous layer of sauce on the bottom. Lay a row of lasagna noodles over the sauce (breaking some into smaller pieces if necessary) and add half of the ricotta cheese mixture and spread over the noodles then add some of both the Italian blend cheese and parmesan cheese.
Repeat the layers once more. Then finish with one layer of noodles, sauce, and more cheese.
Add ¾ cup of water around the edge of the lasagna to help the no boil lasagna noodles cook to perfection.
How long to Smoke Lasagna
Transfer to the smoker and place on the grate and let bake uncovered for about 20 minutes.
Then cover with foil and let bake for about an hour covered or until hot throughout and the cheeses are melted.
Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Substitutions & Additions:
- We love ground beef and smoked sausage lasagna but you could easily just use one or the other, just use two pounds of the meat you want to use.
- I used jarred sauce to make this lasagna a little more simpler but you could absolutely use your favorite homemade marinara sauce or even blend up some Italian Style Smoked Tomatoes to add in to make it taste more homemade. If you like it extra saucy you can also add another jar of sauce, too.
- Have regular lasagna noodles? Of course you can use those. Just cook them according to the package. The total cooking time of the lasagna may be a little less since the noodles will be cooked.
- I used an All Purpose BBQ Rub to help season the sauce but you can definitely just use some salt, black pepper, Oregano, or other Italian seasonings if desired.
- I just grabbed a bag of blended Italian cheeses. But any combination of mozzarella cheese, shredded parmesan, Asiago, or Romano would work well.
What to do with leftover lasagna?
So yes this smoked lasagna recipe makes quite a bit of food. So if it is just a couple people eating it it is great for leftovers for a night or two. Or wrap the pieces up individually in some plastic wrap and freeze for an easy grab and go meal for another night.
Over the top smoked lasagna
- 1 Pot/pan
- 1 Thermometer
- 1 Aluminum Pan/ Baking dish
- 2 24 oz. Jars of Sauce of choice (Tomato & Basil used here)
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- ½ cup diced onion (about 1 small)
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 2 leaves of fresh basil chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic diced
- 1 tsp All purpose BBQ Rub
- 1 lb ground Italian Sausage formed into a log shape
- 1 lb ground beef formed into a log shape
- 1 12 oz. Box of oven ready lasagna noodles
- 1 15 oz. Container of ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 cups of shredded Italian blend cheese (or more to your liking)
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- ¾ cup water
- Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F.
- In a large Dutch oven (or similar) add the sauce, green pepper, onion, tomato, basil, garlic, and BBQ Rub and stir until combined.
- Place the pot on the lower grate of the smoker and add the Italian sausage and ground beef directly on the grate above the pot of sauce.
- Close the lid and let smoke for about 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the meats are at 160 degrees F.
- Pull everything off of the smoker and raise the temperature to 300 degrees F.
- Once cooled slightly, use your hands to pull the meat into pieces and then add to the pot of sauce and stir.
- In a medium bowl add the ricotta cheese and egg and mix until well combined, set aside.
- In a 9x13 baking dish or aluminum pan, add a decent amount of sauce to the pan and spread to cover the bottom.
- Lay a row of lasagna noodles over the sauce (breaking some into smaller pieces if necessary) and add half of the ricotta mixture and spread over the noodles then add some of both the Italian blend cheese and parmesan cheese.
- Repeat the layers once more.
- Then finish with one layer of noodles, sauce, and more cheese.
- Add ¾ cup of water around the edge of the lasagna.
- Transfer to the smoker and place on the grate and let bake uncovered for about 20 minutes.
- Then cover with foil and let bake for about an hour covered or until hot throughout and the cheeses are melted.
- Let rest for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.